Sustaining a brain injury in a car accident can be very serious for anyone, no matter their skin color or ethnicity. However, a recent scientific study suggests that a victim’s ability to recover from traumatic brain injury (TBI) may depend on his or ethnicity.

Researchers at the Kessler Foundation published a study urging that studies of brain injury consequences and treatments be done with cultural diversity in mind. The authors noted that previous studies have shown that ethnic minorities tend to have symptoms for longer, and suffer worse long-term outcomes.

Whether this is due to genetic differences between whites and other races, or other factors, is not entirely clear. The studies this report refers to looked at people who received rehabilitation services.

Either way, one of the authors said, this difference in outcomes suggests a future path for TBI research. He noted that the U.S. is becoming increasingly diverse. This could suggest an increasing problem in helping TBI patients recover, unless more culturally-specific treatment options are discovered.

In the meantime, people of any race can find themselves the victim of a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence. For example, you could be riding your bike when you are hit by someone who ran a stop sign. Or you could be driving home and crash into a drunk driver.

A TBI can have a devastating effect on your life, possibly causing permanent damage. Victims are frequently left with reduced quality of life, and may no longer be able to work. Courts frequently order the responsible party to compensate the victim for these damages.